Bill Belichick Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award


While New England Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick prefers to stay out of media headlights, this time he almost slipped by as the frenzy of the ending-period for franchise tag and the beginning of free agency take full control.

Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the second half of the AFC divisional round playoff game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Bill Belichick is the winner of this year’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Lifetime Achievement Award.  MIT Sloan conference goal is to offer a forum for industry professionals (executive and leading researchers) and students to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the global sports industry.

In this year’s football analytics panel, the focus was analyzed in advanced metrics and strategy behind player evaluation, pre-game planning, and in game decision making. The moderator for this panel was Chief Correspondent Player Health & Safety NFL Network Andrea Kremer; and among the panelist were former New England Patriots Director of Personnel and former Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli, Paraag Marathe, Kevin Demoff and Aaron Schatz.

It should not be a surprise coach Belichick won the Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the only head coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls championships in a four-year span. Currently, he ranks ninth all time with 192 total victories as a head coached and his winning percentage of .649 ranks third in NFL history among coaches with 150 or more wins behind George Halas (.682) and Don Shula (.666).

His exceptional intelligence, ability to break down and exploit game film, his discipline, unmatched work ethic along with his audacity in making calls on fourth down probably played as distinct factors for this award in today’s era of football. In his own unique way, he dislikes media attention. However, it’s his own uniqueness that instigate most people’s curiosity to wonder “what Bill Belichick would do?” in certain situations – whether be it on the football field, draft room or in the works of crafting many of his playbooks. shared with us Bill Belichick’s video message as part of his acceptance speech.

“We all have different responsibilities. I certainly respect the mathematical and statistical ways of looking at the game and trying to use those methods and results to improve our product on the field.”

David Halberstam was a distinguished writer-historian and in his book The Education of a Coach (which I’m currently reading) he went deep into the mind of a great coach by exploring how Belichick arrived where he is and what it means to be a leader. Halberstam shared that coach Bill Belichick was taught by his father, Steve Belichick, how to break down film at the age of nine.

Patriots fan or not, he is an extraordinary coach. While others might say and “guarantees the other 31 NFL teams hate the New England Patriots”, I would say –  that’s the reason why.

There’s no other coach I would rather have than Bill Belichick.

Follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook